Music News

Happy 15th Birthday, Discogs!

Whenever I need to track down a very specific release of a song or an artist, the first place I go is, the Internet’s best database for recorded music. While not perfect–there are errors and omissions as you might expect–it’s still the best thing the Net has to offer. Vinyl, CDs and even cassettes are listed from territories around the world. And if you’re looking for up-to-the-minute prices, it’s a fantastic marketplace, far better than eBay.

For example, a search for Joy Division’s “Love Will Tear Us Apart” returns an amazing 1,169 hits. There’s virtually every incarnation of Joy Division’s recordings plus all the covers others have done. Pretty cool, really.

If you’re a music nut and you don’t know Discogs, you should. Billboard has this profile.

As Discogs, the online vinyl and CD marketplace, celebrates its 15th anniversary, Billboard estimates that the site has supported $43.5 million in transactions so far this year.

That’s based on proprietary data supplied by the site to Billboard. (Note: Because of its provenance, the data could not be independently confirmed.) According toRon Rich, who oversees marketing for the site, so far this year about 2.5 million records have been sold among the buyers and sellers who trade on the site; as well as about 550,000 CDs and about 50,000 cassettes.

The site, founded by then-Intel programmer Kevin Lewandowski in 2000, started life as a hobby catalog for Lewandowsky’s favorite genre, electronic music. “He liked the album art and the sound that vinyl provided, but he really liked a lot of underground music that was tough to find,” Rich says. Lewandowski started with his collection of 250 pieces, working nights and weekends to automatically cross-link artists, releases and labels on a scrappy Pentium II server in his closet, according to Rich. From there, the site slowly became a user-generated, wiki-like database.

“The reason it was focused on electronic music was because it was Kevin’s own collection that started the site….[He] started out to catalog all of the techno and drum ’n’ bass music in the world.” The site’s first transaction “was a techno album from SP-23 called This is Trance,” Rich says.

Now the operators are on a quest to catalog every piece of music in the world. In 2005 it added the now-central marketplace before expanding into other genres. Based in Beaverton, Oreg., Discogs now has an office in the Netherlands and employs about 40 people in total — about half of them are developers, while the other half of the company is a community support team, Rich says.

Read the entire article here.



Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37426 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

One thought on “Happy 15th Birthday, Discogs!

  • Hello ! I am MIRCEA POPA from Romania.
    I`ve just become a victim on this totally online scam business called DISCOGS located in Beaverton Oregon.Three years ago I decided to become a member of this comuninty making an account because I had some ROMANIAN LP that they aren`t listed on DISCOGS database and I learned that DISCOGS is like WIKIPEDIA of LPs and CDs.GReat idea,I said thinking abot the DISCOGS.So I scanned the LP and I submitted on DATABASE helping other collector to buy or to sell the items.
    But on 6 May 2016 after I submitted 58 LPs and CDs I received an automatic email from DISCOGS tells me that I was suspended to put new LP tell me that I have put on CIP (Contributors IMprovement Programs) an automatic software that detects that submissions have errors and the users are punished by forbiding them to put another LP for undetermined time.So to be put out of CIP meaning regain the right to submit new LPs Discogs offer the banned user who submit LPS a “good plan” to be removed from CIP.The user must enter to a forum and gain enough correct votes from other privileged users who had a right of vote the submissions of the users and after obtained enough correct votes,the user will be put out of CIP and regain the right to submit new LPs.For example if you have 500 LPs and CDs and you want to sell them but the items were not listed on DISCOGS,you will submit them on DISCOGS.But after you submit 50 of them,DISCOGS banned you to submit them telling you that your submissions have errors and you must obtain enough correct votes from other privillege users telling you to enter on Discogs forum on a thread about CIP and request votes.Smells fishy ! So DISCOGS forced you to bribe (with PAYPAL money)other users to vote “correct” your submissions to regain your right to submit again.
    I told my suspicion on Discogs forum.I was banned imediately and my thread about this aspect was deleted by Discogs staff.I filed 3-4 complaints(tickets) to the dIscogs staff expressing my indignation about Discogs policy of CIP.On 13 May 2016 I received an email from Discogs telling me that my account was banned from the site meaning my IP address was flagged and I can`t acces my account from my computer.Last year I started to buy some items from Discogs and I have 100% positive feedbacks. Last months I made 3 orders and I wait to receive the package.But I can`t talk to sellers because now I am banned and I can`t acces my private messages or my orders situation.It is a probability that Discogs will use my personal information without my consent and sell to a third party.It is clear that I was banned because I expose the fraudulent activity of the network to blackmail users to give them money to regain some rights of using the network.
    So I was scammed.Discogs looks an excelent idea of LP database but in fact iit is an intelligent online SCAM.Do something to stop this fraud.


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